Update: The owner of the website PerfectPitch.com has apologized for the takedown notice, and says it was an accident on his end. Here’s his email.
[Original post follows:]
Here’s another example of a company misusing the law to try to hide or remove third-party commentary about its services. This time it’s a website called PerfectPitch.com, and its owner Gary Boucherle of American Educational Music, Inc. apparently doesn’t like it when anyone talks about the product without his permission.
Jeremy Keith of the blog Adactio says he received a notice from Google two days ago that the search engine was removing all links to a post where PerfectPitch was mentioned by a commenter. The reason Google provided: “Somone has filed a DMCA complaint against your site.”
Keith posted the offending comment from the original thread on his other blog, The Session, which I’ll repost below:
I think that is referring to http://www.PerfectPitch.com. I’m not saying anything about such commercially-oriented courses because I don’t know them, but I think we’d all be wise to bear in mind the general comments voiced in the first two posts on this thread.
Because that comment is so innocuous, Keith is wondering if Boucherle wanted it gone because he thought it was criticism, or if really he’s just trying to force his own site to the top of the Google search results page by abusing the DMCA to get other results kicked off. Either way, it’s not a legitimate use of the DMCA. Or as Keith puts it:
The Session has pretty good Google juice. The markup is pretty lean, the content is semantically structured and there’s plenty of inbound links. Could it be that the owner of perfectpitch.com sent a DMCA complaint to Google simply because another site was getting higher rankings for the phrase “perfect pitch“? If so, then that’s a whole new level of SEO snake-oilery.